Now some of you may have read that I am a travel agent.. I am not here to sell you a vacation or tell you what to do but there is a HUGE misconception out there when it comes to us, and its time to address it!!
We do and know much MUCH more than you are aware of!… and we are much more valuable than only being useful to book an intricate trip etc. Here is why:
If you come to me and tell me you want to book Krystal Cancun (Or any resort for that matter) for you first Mexico vacation because your friends loved it.. im going to find out why your friends loved it and ensure that you are looking for the same experience. You see, your friends may have loved it because it was close to the hotel zone and offered full access to all of the nightlife.. but if you are looking for a relaxing vaca and just want to lay in the beach and eat awesome food, you arent going to enjoy Krystal Cancun because the hotel is lower end, the beach is far from the best in Cancun and they are definitely not known for the food. What makes one client happy definitely does not make the next happy. As a travel agent I am here to make sure you are getting the most of your vacation so I am going to let you know that this might not be the best option for you and why.. 99% of the time the traveler realizes what I am saying and agrees.. travel is expensive, you want to make sure you are getting what you pay for AND expect! When you book online, the hotels just want your money. We are here to make sure you’re getting what you want and pay for.
2nd example.. say you dont get the experience you were hoping for and after your trip you decide to seek some sort of compensation… what do you do? Do you call a foreign country and run up your bill? Do you email? Where do you email? Do you know who you need to email and who handles complaints? What if you are at the hotel and get a standard room but you booked a club level ocean front two level suite with a private pool.. but the hotel messed up and doesnt have a record of that… this can all be frustrating and as a consumer, you do not have the knowledge and/or experience that an agent does (Doesnt matter how experienced you are in travel, I promise there is so much more to it).. therefore you dont have the contacts that we do. Being in the industry, it comes with the territory… we all connect, we network..I just have contacts that a consumer wouldn’t. . If you’re at a resort, I can usually have your issue fixed within an hour.. otherwise you can stand at the front desk trying to explain why you’re upset and get yourself frustrated on what was supposed to be an amazing getaway.. see where I am going with this?
Another example of a reason to use an agent.. id say about 90% of travelers don’t know (even experienced travelers) the passport requirement of 6 months validity.. your passport has to be valid for at least 6 months AFTER your return. So many people have book a vacation with me not realizing because its valid for 10yrs people don’t think of those little things… i make it a point to bring it up with all international vacations that I book so my customers vacation isn’t interrupted.. Do you know how many people double check and end up having to renew before their vacation?!…something like this could cause you to be denied entry into your destination, causing you more out of pocket expenses having to fly home – YES, that really happens.
These are just a few examples (I could go on and on) and to be honest, we are a free service to you (we are paid by hotels and vendors etc) and a lot of us are small, home based businesses. There are some large, well known agencies that give the good agents a bad name..such as the one I used to work for. I won’t publicly bash a company but if you’d like to know what agency, PM me and I’d be more than happy to let you know where to stay away from..those are the agencies you need to stay away from, they add surcharges and fees and unnecessary crap onto your packages to get more commission..
If you are looking to travel, reach out to one. Not only are you getting a free vacation along with free advice and knowledge.. you are helping support a local family. If you aren’t happy with the service the agent provides or he/she is salsey/pushy.. then maybe you didn’t find a good one and like all industries, there are some good and some bad.. and some extraordinary… there is literally no reason to NOT use an agent.
That is all =)